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Coronavirus updates: New Jerseys largest city sets curfew starting Tuesday; Los Angeles County reaches 300K cases; Dow drops 650 points – USA TODAY

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/10/27/covid-news-newark-curfew-los-angeles-cases-texas-state/6046746002/

Coronavirus updates: New Jerseys largest city sets curfew starting Tuesday; Los Angeles County reaches 300K cases; Dow drops 650 points - USA TODAY

Los Angeles County reached 300,000 COVID-19 infections and 7,000 deaths on Monday and health officials said the Lakers’ NBA Finals victory on Oct. 11 may have contributed to a spike in cases.

“It is impossible to determine the exact exposures that contributed to this increase,’’ the L.A. County Department of Public Health said. “However, it is highly likely that gatherings to watch and/or celebrate the Lakers, along with any other gatherings that occurred 2-3 weeks ago where people weren’t wearing face coverings and were in close contact with each other, contributed to the rise in L.A. County cases.’’

In Texas, where coronavirus cases are nearing 900,000, according to a USA TODAY analysis, Texas State University on Monday announced it will hold two in-person commencement ceremonies in December. Both ceremonies will be held outdoors with no more than 25% capacity.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.7 million cases and 225,700 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 43.5 million cases and 1.2 million deaths.

Read this: USA TODAY recently checked back in with some of the dozens of Americans who spoke to us earlier this year after losing jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and found that many have edged closer to financial calamity.

Birx slams COVID response in Bismark, North Dakota, as ‘deeply unfortunate’

The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Monday that North Dakota’s capital city had the worst COVID-19 protocols she’s seen in her travels around the country after she spent a day looking around.

Dr. Deborah Birx, whose tour has taken her to nearly 40 states, said she found the absence of face coverings and the lack of social distancing in Bismarck “deeply unfortunate” and a danger to public health.

North Dakota continues to rank first in the country for new virus cases per capita in the last two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project, and the Bismarck area has in recent months been a hot spot.

‘Highly likely’ Lakers watch parties, celebrations contributed to LA spike

The Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Finals coincided with a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, and it’s “highly likely” watch parties held by Lakers fans and the victory celebration outside of Staples Center contributed to the spike, the L.A. County Department of Public Health said.  

That has fueled concerns of another potential spike in COVID-19 transmission rates because the Los Angeles Dodgers are one victory away from winning their first World Series title in 32 years.

The Dodgers lead the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 will be played Tuesday and if the Dodgers lose, the teams will play Game 7 on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.

– Josh Peter

New Jersey’s largest city begins new coronavirus curfew starting Tuesday

The mayor of Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, is ordering all nonessential businesses to close by 8 p.m. starting Tuesday. The city is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

 Nail salons, beauty salons and barbershops will be open by appointment only with no customers allowed to wait inside. All sports games and practices have been canceled in the city’s East Ward, which has the highest positivity rate of more than 25%, CBS New York reports.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is surging in the state. Health officials on Monday reported 948 hospitalizations – the highest since July. Gov. Philip D. Murphy on Saturday extended the state’s Public Health Emergency after health officials reported 1,994 new positive cases, the highest daily total since May 5.

University of Arizona asks students who travel for Thanksgiving not to return to campus

With Halloween and Thanksgiving approaching, the University of Arizona is putting measures in place to prohibit the spread of COVID-19. 

The university is asking all students to fill out a survey on their planned Thanksgiving travel and to schedule a COVID-19 test as close to their travel date as possible to prohibit the transmission of COVID-19. After Thanksgiving, all classes will be held online only and students who travel out of the Tucson area are encouraged to finish the semester remotely. 

University officials are also requiring students to select one of the three following travel options: Students planning to travel for Thanksgiving break can choose to complete the rest of the semester outside of the Tucson area or completely online from their student residence. Students who do not travel for Thanksgiving break are able to complete the semester as is from their student residence.

– Brooke Newman, Arizona Republic

Coronavirus updates: New Jerseys largest city sets curfew starting Tuesday; Los Angeles County reaches 300K cases; Dow drops 650 points - USA TODAY

Border city mayor asks Mexico to ban entry by US citizens amid COVID surge

The mayor of Juárez made an urgent plea for help from the Mexican government, asking for medical supplies and to consider banning U.S. citizens from crossing the border. Like in El Paso, Texas, new cases of COVID-19 are surging in Chihuahua state with the epicenter in Juárez, which hit 1,100 deaths over the weekend, state public health officials said.

Travel by U.S. citizens in “indiscriminate crossings at the border in Ciudad Juárez are contributing in an active manner to the expansion of the virus,” Cabada said Friday in a letter to Roberto Velasco Alvarez, director for North America in Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations.

The U.S. has restricted nonessential Mexican tourist travel over the land border since March 21, but U.S. residents still are able to go to Mexico.

– Daniel Borunda and Lauren Villagran, El Paso Times

Dow posts worst day in a month as coronavirus counts jump across US

U.S. stocks careened Monday, posting their worst day in a month as a spike in coronavirus cases raised concerns on Wall Street that more woes could be ahead for the still-fragile global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 650.19 points, or 2.3%, to 27,685.38. It was the blue-chip average’s biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3. The S&P 500 slid 1.9% to 3,400.97, its worst day since Sept. 23. The Nasdaq composite slumped 1.6% to 11,358.94.

Coronavirus counts are spiking in much of the U.S. and Europe, which some investors fear could threaten the global economic recovery following a coronavirus-induced U.S. recession this year. 

– Jessica Menton

NIH halts trial of Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody for hospitalized patients

The National Institutes of Health has stopped a trial of a monoclonal antibody being tested in hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19, deciding that it was unlikely to be of help. A similar trial in patients at an earlier stage of disease will continue, Eli Lilly and Co., which makes the antibody, said late Monday.

The trial was stopped earlier this month because of safety concerns. Lilly said that an analysis showed that the drug, bamlanivimab, was not dangerous, but also unlikely to help advanced patients.

President Donald Trump, who received a different pair of monoclonal antibodies when he was sick with COVID-19, has proclaimed them a “cure” and promised to provide them free to any American who needs them.

The company that makes the drug he took, Regeneron, has requested an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin providing it. Lilly has requested similar authorization for bamlanivimab in recently diagnosed high-risk patients.

– Karen Weintraub

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press

Coronavirus updates: New Jerseys largest city sets curfew starting Tuesday; Los Angeles County reaches 300K cases; Dow drops 650 points - USA TODAY

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COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Hamilton County, causing strain on regions ICU units – WLWT Cincinnati

https://www.wlwt.com/article/live-hamilton-county-officials-give-update-on-covid-19-impact-on-hospitals/34845287

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Hamilton County, causing strain on regions ICU units - WLWT Cincinnati

The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are pushing health systems in Hamilton County on the verge of capacity, according to health officials. UC Health President and CEO Dr. Richard Lofgren said the growth is stressing the health systems’ ability to accommodate patients. UC recently made the decision to limit elective surgeries due to the uptick in cases and hospitalizations. The decision means only medically necessary, time-sensitive surgeries will be performed along with emergencies and outpatient procedures not requiring an overnight stay.Lofgren said the move will allow them to redeploy staff and beds to where they are needed.Lofgren said over the past 60 days, there has been a 600 to 700% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Sixty days ago, 1 in 30 people in the hospital had COVID-19, currently it’s about 1 in every 4 people. He said critical care units are especially stressed, with limited amounts of staff. Lofgren said in the spring they were able to call on travel nurses to help, but due to so many cities seeing a similar surge, it’s not as easy to bring in more staff.When talking about a potential surge following the Thanksgiving holiday, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said he hopes their messaging prior to the holiday weekend made an impact.Kesterman said he hopes next week they will see the data reflects people’s ability to maintain their COVID-19 footprint.

The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are pushing health systems in Hamilton County on the verge of capacity, according to health officials.

UC Health President and CEO Dr. Richard Lofgren said the growth is stressing the health systems’ ability to accommodate patients.

UC recently made the decision to limit elective surgeries due to the uptick in cases and hospitalizations. The decision means only medically necessary, time-sensitive surgeries will be performed along with emergencies and outpatient procedures not requiring an overnight stay.

Lofgren said the move will allow them to redeploy staff and beds to where they are needed.

Lofgren said over the past 60 days, there has been a 600 to 700% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Sixty days ago, 1 in 30 people in the hospital had COVID-19, currently it’s about 1 in every 4 people.

He said critical care units are especially stressed, with limited amounts of staff. Lofgren said in the spring they were able to call on travel nurses to help, but due to so many cities seeing a similar surge, it’s not as easy to bring in more staff.

When talking about a potential surge following the Thanksgiving holiday, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said he hopes their messaging prior to the holiday weekend made an impact.

Kesterman said he hopes next week they will see the data reflects people’s ability to maintain their COVID-19 footprint.

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Health officials fear horrific COVID-19 surge is about to get worse – New York Post

https://nypost.com/2020/12/02/health-officials-fear-covid-19-surge-is-about-to-get-worse/

Health officials fear horrific COVID-19 surge is about to get worse - New York Post

Almost 37,000 Americans died of the coronavirus in November, a grim number that approached May’s toll — and health officials are worried that the numbers will spike further as many people ignored pleas to remain home during Thanksgiving.

Amid the surge in cases, states have begun reopening field hospitals, overburdened hospitals are setting up mobile morgues and funerals are being livestreamed or performed as drive-by services.

“I have no doubt that we’re going to see a climbing death toll … and that’s a horrific and tragic place to be,” Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told The Associated Press.

“It’s going to be a very dark couple of weeks,” he added.

Although November’s tally was far lower than the 60,699 recorded in April, it was dangerously close to the next-highest total of almost 42,000 in May, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In June, deaths had dropped to just over 20,000 after states closed many businesses and ordered people to stay at home.

As of Wednesday, 270,881 people died of the virus in the US, where about 13.7 million cases have been recorded, according to Johns Hopkins.

A member of the National Guard looks out of a COVID-19 mobile testing tent in Auburn, Maine, yesterday.
A member of the National Guard looks out of a COVID-19 mobile testing tent in Auburn, Maine, yesterday.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP

The rapidly deteriorating situation is particularly vexing because vaccine distribution could begin within weeks, Michaud said.

New York City, the epicenter of the US outbreak earlier in the year, reopened a field hospital last week on Staten Island.

In Missouri, a mobile morgue that Mercy Hospital Springfield acquired in 2011 after a tornado slammed nearby Joplin and killed about 160 people has been put into use again.

On Sunday, it held two bodies until funeral home workers could arrive.

In St. Louis, burials are up by about one-third this year compared with last year at the Bellefontaine Cemetery.

A doctor puts on personal protective equipment before performing rounds at Scotland County Hospital  in Memphis, Missouri.
A doctor puts on personal protective equipment before performing rounds at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri.
Jeff Roberson/AP

The cremated remains of some 20 people are being kept in storage while their families wait for a safer time to hold memorial services.

“You want to be safe at the gravesite so you don’t have to do another graveside service” for another relative, said Richard Lay, Bellefontaine Cemetery’s vice president.

In Massachusetts, meanwhile, the National Guard delivered cots, medical supplies and other items for a 250-bed field hospital in Worcester in case the state’s medical centers become overwhelmed.

Wisconsin has a field hospital in West Allis ready to take overflow patients, a Nevada hospital has added hospital bed capacity in a parking garage and Rhode Island opened two field hospitals with more than 900 beds combined.

An EMT looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
An EMT looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Jae C. Hong/AP

“Hospitals all around the country are worried on a day-to-day basis about their capacity … and we’re not really even into winter season and we haven’t seen the impact of Thanksgiving travel and Thanksgiving gatherings,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“You can’t just say we’ll have doctors and nurses from other states come because those other states are also dealing with COVID patients,” he added.

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CDC shortens coronavirus quarantine period, adds travel-related testing recommendations – Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/health/coronavirus-quarantine-duration-shortened-cdc

CDC shortens coronavirus quarantine period, adds travel-related testing recommendations - Fox News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday announced shorter coronavirus-related quarantine periods ahead of anticipated holiday travel. 

The CDC announced two acceptable quarantine periods, though noted that the previously-established 14 days of quarantine is the best way to reduce risk of virus spread. Officials said quarantine can now end after 10 days without a COVID-19 test, if the person reports no symptoms, or after seven days with a negative test result if the person reports no symptoms.

LIVE UPDATES: Today’s latest COVID-19 headlines

The agency advised people should still watch for symptoms for COVID-19 14 days after exposure. The announcement arises from analysis of new research and modeling data. The shorter length of quarantine is hoped to reduce economic hardship and lessen the stress on the public health system amid a rising number of infections.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield elaborated on the new changes in a separate conversation on Wednesday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. 

“And that guidance is, again, based on data that we gathered and modeling of that data that if you isolate for 10 days that the probability that you will start replicating the virus after that is about one percent,” Redfield said.

Dr. Henry Walke, incident manager for CDC’s COVID-19 response, advised Americans to postpone travel with the upcoming winter holiday.

“If you do decide to travel, the CDC recommends that travelers consider getting tested one to three days before travel, and again three to five days after travel,” Walke said on a call. “This should be done in combination with reducing non-essential activities for seven days after travel.”

 If travelers do not get tested, the agency advises reducing non-essential activities for ten days.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk, so when combined with reducing nonessential activities, symptom screening and continuing with precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing and hand washing, it can make travel safer,” Walke continued.

The CDC plans to update its webpage with the new guidance on Wednesday.

The announcement follows news from just a day prior, when Fox News obtained exclusive documents on the expected release of guidance.

Fox News obtained an internal CDC document on Tuesday which outlined the proposed changes. A source told Fox News that the changes have been discussed with and approved by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE SHOULD GO TO HEALTH CARE WORKERS, LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES FIRST, CDC PANEL RECOMMENDS

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Dec. 2 – Raleigh News & Observer

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiQ2h0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm5ld3NvYnNlcnZlci5jb20vbmV3cy9jb3JvbmF2aXJ1cy9hcnRpY2xlMjQ3NTQxODIwLmh0bWzSAUNodHRwczovL2FtcC5uZXdzb2JzZXJ2ZXIuY29tL25ld3MvY29yb25hdmlydXMvYXJ0aWNsZTI0NzU0MTgyMC5odG1s?oc=5

Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Dec. 2 - Raleigh News & Observer

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WHO tightens mask guidelines | TheHill – The Hill

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/528309-who-tightens-mask-guidelines

WHO tightens mask guidelines | TheHill - The Hill

The World Health Organization (WHO) is tightening its mask guidelines, telling people who live in areas where the coronavirus is still spreading to wear masks at all times in a variety of public places.

The new guidelines, rolled out on Tuesday, specify that those entering stores, workplaces and schools with low ventilation should make sure that they are wearing a mask. The WHO is also asking that people wear masks if they cannot keep a physical distance of at least three feet from others within an enclosed area.

The guidelines also call for children 12 and older to wear masks and state that face coverings should be worn outdoors if it is not possible to socially distance.

“If indoors, unless ventilation has been assessed to be adequate, WHO advises that the general public should wear a non-medical mask, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 metre can be maintained,” the WHO said.

The health organization added that people should wear masks at home when they invite visitors over if they cannot maintain distance between them.

WHO also recommended that health workers should wear N95 masks when caring for COVID-19 patients. The masks have been proven to protect them when performing procedures that could expose them to infectious droplets.

Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the public to wear masks, stating that they help to protect the wearer and others from contracting the coronavirus.

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